The Power of Partnership course I just completed with several other inaugural students can easily be described as mind-bending. Actually, mind-blowing is the more accurate description in some aspects! Either way, I’ll never look at Life and daily living the same way again.
My perspective was changed at both the meta and macro levels.
First, the meta level:
For some time, I have observed a natural progression for all of creation to be Order leading to Disorder leading to Reorder. We see this progression in the annual cycle of seasons and in the evolution of species and ecosystems, for example (think Darwin’s “survival of the most adaptable”).
In the development of human civilizations, we typically see this natural progression as Structure leading to Chaos/Confusion leading to Revised Structure.
So one of my “a-ha’s” during this course was the realization that we – we being much of humankind – are experiencing a natural meta-progression along a dominance/partnership line:
Dominance Emphasis leading to Cultural Chaos/Confusion leading to Partnership Emphasis
Though this meta-progression is not consistent across all segments and geographies, and though the necessary chaos and confusion can be harrowing and possibly deadly, overall the progression toward greater emphasis on partnership is hopeful and encouraging. No bets on how long the process will take, but it seems to be accelerating rapidly, at least in parts of the world.
Second, my perspective changed also at the macro level.
The course, based on Riane Eisler’s book THE POWER OF PARTNERSHIP: SEVEN RELATIONSHIPS THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE (well, Riane certainly delivers on that promise!), explored the seven levels of relationship in which we each engage: self; family and intimate others; one’s work and community; one’s nation; the international arena; nature; and Spirit.
I now see these seven relationships through a macro lens, the lens of partnership.
It’s amazing how a subtle shift in awareness reveals an entirely new view of reality.
I gained insight in each of the seven relationship areas. A few stand out as particularly powerful, however. With self, the concept of nurturing oneself with support and compassion rather than berating and punishing. With intimate others, the realization that codependency is a subtle and pervasive form of dominance. With the national and international arena, that there is a fine line between liberty and suppression. With Spirit, that our view of God/Goddess -- loving and beneficent or harsh and punishing -- directly affects how we view sex, birth, pleasure, purpose, and death.
Read the book or take the course, or better yet, do both. As Riane promised, it will change your life!